LA Doctor Acquitted In Liver Transplant Case

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles doctor has been acquitted of charges he lied to the national organ transplant network by giving a liver to a less needy patient and falsifying records to cover up the switch.

Dr. Richard R. Lopez Jr. had been accused of eight criminal counts, including conspiracy, concealment of a material fact and falsification of records. After a three-week trial, he was acquitted on all counts, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

The 56-year-old Lopez headed the now-defunct liver transplant program at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. In 2005, the hospital acknowledged that doctors improperly arranged a liver transplant two years earlier for a Saudi national who was 52nd on a transplant list.

Defense attorney Kenneth Julian told the Times that Lopez became “a scapegoat for everything that was wrong at St. Vincent’s.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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